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Lamb Chops

A deliciously elegant (and easy) dinner, these Lamb Chops with a mint pesto sauce look impressive, taste amazing and are a fabulous dinner all year round!

A DELICIOUS AND EASY DINNER

Lamb can feel like an intimidating meat to cook because it’s not something you tend to make and eat regularly. But it’s actually an incredibly easy meat to work with because it is so naturally tender. So all we need to do is add the flavor! This is accomplished with an herb and garlic marinade and serving with a mint pesto. If you’ve never had lamb before, this Lamb Chops recipe is a great way to start!

Close up of Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto in baking dish.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What are lamb chops?

There are several cuts that come from places like the shoulder, loin or ribs, but the most popular cut are lamb rib chops from the rack of lamb (or the rib roast) which is what we are using here. Like any rib roast, it is in a protected part of the animal so it will be the most tender meat that is surrounded and laced with fat to give it a rich flavor.

Is it better to grill, fry or broil lamb chops?

Grilling and broiling are essentially the same thing except the heat source comes from different locations. For grilling the heat source is below and for broiling the heat source is above. Lamb chops are perfect for either method but we broil them in this particular recipe. Otherwise, you can grill them with success as well.

Are lamb chops tough or tender?

Since we use a rack of lamb or the rib portion it is more tender as it does not get as much “use” as some other cuts of meat and is marbled with fat.

At what temperature are lamb chops done?

This depends on how well done you want them. For rare, the internal temperature is 120F, medium rare is 125F, medium is 130F and well done is 145F. For this recipe we are cooking until medium. We remove the lamb chops from the oven when the internal temperature is between 125F-128F. The chops continue to cook after they are removed from the oven.

Why is mint commonly served with lamb?

Other than the two being what is called a “scientific match”, mint was thought to be initially served with lamb during Medieval times to cover the gamey taste. And over the years, as lamb has become less gamey, it is still a common ingredient served with or in lamb dishes.

How do I store leftovers?

You can store these in a shallow airtight container with the marinade in the refrigerator where it will last for up to 3-4 days.

Pinterest image of Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto in baking dish overhead.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • rack of lamb
  • grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • garlic
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • salted butter 
  • pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • mint leaves
  • parsley leaves
  • lemon juice
Ingredients needed: rack of lamb, grapeseed oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, salted butter, pine nuts, olive oil, mint leaves, parsley leaves and lemon juice.

HOW TO MAKE LAMB CHOPS:

Prepare marinade. Add grapeseed oil, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and 2 rosemary sprigs to a ziploc bag. 

Grapeseed oil, garlic rosemary sprigs added to ziptop bag.

Cut lamb rack into 4 pieces, 2 bones per piece. Add the lamb and let marinate for at least an hour and up to 6 hours. 

Sliced lamb chops added into ziptop bag.

Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the lamb from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. 

Lamb chops sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Pour marinade into an oven safe pan. Add the lamb, crossing the bones into the center. Top with thyme and sliced butter. 

Lamb chops and marinade added to pan topped with butter and thyme.

Place 3” under the broiler and cook for 6 minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer reads 125F-128F degrees. The chops will continue to cook slightly after they are removed from the oven.

Finished lamb chops right out of the oven.

While the lamb is cooking, prepare mint pesto. Heat a small skillet over high heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the pine nuts and cook for 30 seconds to give a slight toast. 

Pine nuts being toasted.

Remove from heat. combine pine nuts, mint, parsley, minced garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. 

Pine nuts, mint, garlic, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice added to food processor.

Purée for 30-45 seconds. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Finished pesto in food processor.

Remove lamb from the oven and let it rest for 7 minutes.

Overhead of finished Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto out of oven.

Add a dollop of mint pesto to the center of a plate and place the lamb on top to serve. Enjoy! 

Plated Lamb Chops over Mint Pesto on black plate.

LOVE THIS RECIPE? HERE ARE SOME AMAZING SIDES TO GO ALONG WITH IT!

Square image of finished Lamb Chops.

Lamb Chops

A deliciously elegant (and easy) dinner, these Lamb Chops look impressive, taste amazing and are a fabulous dinner all year round!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Marinating:: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 27 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 sprigs rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 rack of lamb, about 8 ribs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter

Optional Mint Pesto:

  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ¾ cup parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare marinade. Add grapeseed oil, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, and 2 rosemary sprigs to a ziploc bag.
  • Cut lamb rack into 4 pieces, 2 bones per piece. Add the lamb and let marinate for at least an hour, but up to 6 hours.
  • Preheat the broiler to high.
  • Remove the lamb from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Pour marinade into an oven safe pan. Add the lamb, crossing the bones into the center. Top with thyme and sliced butter.
  • Place 3” under the broiler and cook for 6 minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer reads 125F-128F degrees (they will continue to cook as they rest to 130-135F degrees)
  • While the lamb is cooking, prepare mint pesto. Heat a small skillet over high heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the pine nuts and cook for 30 seconds to give a slight toast.
  • Remove from heat. combine pine nuts, mint, parsley, minced garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor.
  • Purée for 30-45 seconds. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Remove lamb from the oven and let it rest for 7 minutes. Add a dollop of mint pesto to the center of a plate and place the lamb on top to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Marinade is not included in the nutritional value.
  • We like to broil our lamb chops for this recipe, quick and easy!
  • See temperatures of doneness above in frequently asked questions.
  • You can buy your own mint pesto if you do not feel like making it or skip it altogether. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, British

Nutrition

Calories: 789kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 78g | Sodium: 760mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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